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Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Optional university endorsement. See How to Apply below for more details.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world. The program is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Each year the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program selects up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment to receive full funding to pursue a wide-ranging graduate education at Stanford, with the goal of developing a new generation of global leaders. In addition to the opportunities that students will pursue through the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, they will find ample opportunity to build leadership skills specific to their discipline.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program supports up to three years of graduate education at Stanford, including tuition, fees, and a generous personal stipend, plus leadership development and mentorship opportunities. If your degree program exceeds three years, such as an MD or PhD program, then your home department will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program.

Who Should Apply?

To be eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, you must:

  • be applying to enroll in a full-time graduate degree or joint-/dual- graduate degree program at Stanford
  • have earned your bachelor's degree no more than 7 years prior to program start date.
  • meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program that you wish to pursue.
  • submit a complete application for the department - including any standardized tests and, if needed, an English proficiency exam.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is open to citizens of all countries.

Selection criteria:

  • independence of thought
  • purposeful leadership
  • civic mindset

The ideal candidate will demonstrate outstanding intellectual ability, have an extensive record of engagement and service, possess demonstrated leadership potential, show a commitment to improving the lives of others, and be a good academic fit with their selected Stanford graduate program.

Priority is given to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year. You should also be sure to check the department's website for a sense of what it seeks in candidates. 

How to Apply

Applying for this award includes an optional university endorsement. We hold an open campus competition for endorsement beginning each Summer.

Step 1: Attend an Info Session

Students interested in applying for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program should attend an information session in the spring to learn more about the program. If you are unable to attend UREP's info session on this program, you should watch one of the live or recorded info sessions provided by Knight-Hennessy and email us at to let us know you intend to apply.

Step 2: Attend the Reflection for Fellowships Workshop

During the Spring Term, UREP will host an pre-writing workshop to help you reflect on and generate potential content for your essays. While the session is open to applicants of many different awards, it is particularly beneficial for Knight-Hennessy applicants. You can register via our events page.

Step 3: Apply for Optional Campus Endorsement

Campus Deadline: August 1

Regardless of whether they have previously worked with or notified UREP, candidates can request an endorsement of their application by submitting a draft of their application and an External Fellowships Waiver by August 1. Learn more about endorsement and other application resources on our Knight-Hennessy Resource Page.

Step 4: National Application Deadline

Deadline: October

Please carefully review the Knight-Hennessy application requirements well in advance of any deadlines. All applicants must submit complete applications to both their desired Stanford graduate program and the Knight-Hennessy Program. As part of the national application, shortlisted candidates will submit a brief video of introduction. Please note that the video must be recorded in the application system, and cannot be edited.

UREP will support any shortlisted candidates in developing their video submissions and in preparing for national interviews for the program. This will require a review of your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application, the application for your graduate program, and any additional recommendations.

More information

More information about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, including application resources and samples, is available on the Drexel Fellowships Resource Site. Access to the resource site requires a Drexel log-in; alumni can email to request access.

For official information on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, (which supersedes any information provided here) and access to the online application, please visit the official Knight-Hennessy website.

Related awards:

Gates Cambridge Scholarship; Marshall Scholarship; Mitchell Scholarship; Rhodes ScholarshipSchwarzman Scholars

Last updated: October 2023


  • September 1, 2023 

    campus deadline
    Contact UREP for more information

Fields of Study:

  • Any Field

Program Type:

  • Funded Graduate Program
  • Study
  • Travel

Program Length:

  • Multi-year

Degree Level:

  • Post UG
  • Graduate


  • Stanford University


  • US Citizen/National
  • US Permanent Resident
  • Citizen of another country